Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chinese Volvo Ocean Race Sailors To Tackle Atlantic

Newport, USA - From Rhode Island to Lorient, France, for the Chinese Sailors onboard Dongfeng this will be their biggest offshore test to date and will bring skipper Charles Caudrelier one step closer to choosing his final race crew for the Volvo Ocean Race.
Photo: Pedro Freitas/Volvo Ocean Race
After weeks of preparation and training the team finally left the dock at Newport Shipyard today at 3pm local time. The air was filled with apprehension and anticipation at what lays ahead and the final hurdle for these novice Chinese offshore sailors.
Photo: Samuel Greenfield/Volvo Ocean Race
In only five months Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Kong Chen Cheng (Kong) have sailed over 3,500 nautical miles and have endured months of tough physical training, which has brought them to this point. Although still very much in the running for the final race team, both Ying ‘Kit’ Cheng and Liu Ming (Leo) will stay ashore for this crossing and will re-join the team upon their arrival in Lorient for the official announcement of the final race team on the 26th June.
Photo: Pedro Freitas/Volvo Ocean Race
The transatlantic crossing, a re-enactment of the 2,800 nautical mile Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, will be undertaken in ‘race mode’ i.e. Caudrelier will be driving the Volvo Ocean 65 Dongfeng hard and his crew even harder. The test leg is estimated to take approximately eight days giving Dongfeng Race Team the opportunity to further test the boat and collect critical boat performance data. The first night is set to deliver relatively light conditions, however after 24 hours the crew are expecting to hit up to 40 knots of wind as a low pressure system sweeps in.

Though not the longest period of time the Chinese sailors will have spent offshore this will, undoubtedly, prove to be the most challenging. When asked if they’re apprehensive or scared, they just glance at one another and shake their heads – perhaps not wanting to voice their concerns on the eve of their departure and keep their resolve strong. Wolf says: “I know it’s going to be hard. I knew back at the first trials that it was going to be hard but we’ve made it this far and I’m ready.

"The only thing at the back of my mind is since we took the safety survival course a few weeks ago, it’s hit me how dangerous this race is. I always thought that if you fell in the water there was hope for survival, and maybe in flat seas and daylight but realistically the chances of survival rapidly diminish in strong winds and high seas with minimum visibility. We did a man overboard manoeuvre in Sanya in flat seas and daylight and within seconds the guy had disappeared from view. It just makes you ask yourself, before you embark on a journey like this one, are you good enough? Can you survive onboard? Will you survive onboard? But am I scared? No.”

These sailors have shown ultimate strength and displayed true determination to take part and represent China in one of the greatest offshore sailing races of all time - the Volvo Ocean Race starting from Alicante, Spain in October 2014.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Friday, May 30, 2014

Stu Bannatyne To Cross The Atlantic With Team Alvimedica

Lisbon, Portugal - Team Alvimedica face their biggest test yet when the young crew leave Lisbon on Friday, bound for Newport, Rhode Island across the Atlantic in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Stu Bannatyne Photo: Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica
They are the new kids on the block in the biggest offshore challenge in sailing but are already soaking up experience thanks to a mentoring scheme put in place by the team's management.
Charlie Enright Photo: Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica
For the trip across the Atlantic they will be receiving the wise advice of New Zealand’s Stu Bannatyne, one of the most successful sailors ever to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race.

He has been on the winning boat three times out of the six times he has competed, including victory in his debut appearance in 1993-94 on NZ Endeavour, skippered by another race legend Grant Dalton.  Bannatyne also triumphed as watch captain on illbruck in 2001-02 and Ericsson 4 in 2008-09. He finished second on board Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last Race in 2011-12.

“It was great having Paul Cayard at our first session and it will be fantastic having someone like Stu as our second. Both of them bring a lot to the table and it’s up to us to absorb each of their different perspectives,” said delighted Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright.

“Stu comes across as a hardened race veteran, because he is, but that hasn’t stopped him from generously sharing his experiences with us. We’re really lucky to have him with us”.

Enright and his fellow crewmember Mark Towill have already enjoyed an incredible journey to reach the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race that begins with the Alicante in-port race on October 4 and then leaves for the first leg to Cape Town exactly a week later.

They first met as the young stars of the Disney movie Morning Light seven years ago and hatched a dream to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race after learning more about the event from several race veterans on the film set.

Thanks to the backing of Alvimedica, a European-based medical device company with head quarters in Istanbul with equally big ambitions to build a global reputation as the best in their business, their dream to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race has come true.

Bannatyne has certainly been impressed by what he’s seen so far of Enright, Towill and their young crew-mates who are trying out during the Atlantic voyage to complete the rest of the final line-up.

“I have been impressed so far with the professionalism and enthusiasm that Charlie and his young team have approached their campaign. Their energy to innovate and push hard for the best solutions in the programme has been great to see and I am really looking forward to working with them on this Transatlantic session”

The team management and Alvimedica plan to introduce more legendary names from the race’s history to give the youngsters – both Enright and Towill are in their 20s – an extra edge against rivals who are double their age and have at least double their offshore experience.

“In Alvimedica we have high ambitions in what we do. We always seek the best expertise worldwide within our field, to develop long lasting world-class collaboration. Using that same mindset for Team Alvimedica comes naturally as we care for our crew and their performance as if they were our family members. It is in our DNA,” said Anna Malm Bernsten, Campaign Director of Team Alvimedica.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Two More Crew For Team Brunel

After four months of intensive training, Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking announced two more crew this Monday during a private event in The Netherlands.
Louis Balcaen (BEL) Photo: Sander van der Borch/Team Brunel,
According to the race rules, every team shall include two sailors under the age of 30 onboard and Bekking has chosen 25-year old Louis Balcaen (BEL) and 27-year old Rokas Milevičius (LIT) to cover these two spots. Only one position remains to complete the sailing crew.
Rokas Milevičius (LIT) Photo: Sander van der Borch/Team Brunel
“All candidates are great sailors and huge team players. But in the end, you have to look at who is the most all-rounded sailor. Enthusiasm and talent are the characteristics that we most pay attention to. And Louis is an excellent helmsman and a fantastic trimmer who learns quickly," Bekking said

“Rokas is very eager and all-rounded. He is quite experienced in offshore racing and has participated in an Olympic campaign.

It’s a “dream come true” for Balcaen. “There is still plenty to learn and now I have to live up to it. I am really looking forward to it and I will work as hard as I can to prove to Bouwe that he made the right decision.”

Milevičius will be the first Lithuanian to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race. “I look forward to the race and I am extremely proud that I have made it this far. I am the first Lithuanian participating in the race and I suspect that my selection will give the sport of sailing a huge boost in Lithuania.”

Olympic Finn sailor Pieter-Jan Postma from the Netherlands and German sailor Robert Stanjek have not been selected. Dutch sailor Timo Hagoort has been assured a position as reserve crew member and he is still competing for the last position on the sailing team.

“Timo is extremely enthusiastic and talented,” said Bekking. “But he clearly needs more time to prove himself. That is why we want to keep him in the team.”

Hagoort is still realistic that he can make the cut. “On one hand I am disappointed that I have not been selected yet, but on the other hand I am really pleased that I can stay in the team as a reserve crew member during the entire Volvo Ocean Race. This means that I still have a few months to prove myself. I have not given up my hope of a permanent place onboard yet.”

Stanjek was informed by Bekking over the phone that he would not be part of the team. "Of course I am very disappointed by this decision. Applying for a round the world race was not a hasty idea on my side. I put a lot of effort, energy and time into this new challenge.

"It wasn’t meant to be this time round but I am thankful for what I have learnt in the past few months from working with this outstanding team. This experience will serve me in the future and has made me a better sailor, who hasn’t stopped making big plans.“

Postma is also disappointed with the team decision but admits the difficulties of selecting the right crew for the job. “I've just been told that I won’t sail the Volvo Ocean Race. That's hard. I have a lot of respect for Bouwe and the team, and for difficult decisions as well. That's what a good skipper is supposed to do.

“It’s a pity that this decision turned out to be negative for me, but I'm grateful for having been part of the campaign. I continue to support the team. Team Brunel and the Volvo Ocean Race stay in my heart.”

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Curtain Closes On Magical Rolex Capri Sailing Week

For 10th consecutive year, Capri hosted the Rolex Capri Sailing Week. The event’s programme was planned to include six days of racing and, attracted an international fleet of 21 boats from 11 different countries.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Despite two days lost due to lack of wind, there was sufficient high quality racing to place three yachts at the top of their respective classes: Robertissima III (GBR) took Mini Maxi Racing, Good Job Guys (ITA) headed the podium in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising and Azzurra (ITA) took the overall victory in TP52. All three were rewarded for their efforts with a Rolex timepiece.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
The Rolex Capri Sailing Week is always a special event. The first event in the Rolex’s Mediterranean yachting season, it always comprises different racing formats, and a selection of the most glamorous racing yachts in sport today. All set against the stunning backdrop of the Italian island of Capri.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
The 12 Maxis and Mini Maxis arranging in length range from 18.29 to 30.5 metres, and nine TP52s, were the stars of the show organised by the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Capri. Teams from Austria, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA competed for the Caprese glory.

Robertissima III Ignites The Volcano Race

The assembled Maxis and Mini Maxis started their week on Monday with the Volcano Race, a 230 nautical-miles offshore course from Capri to Stromboli and back. The fleet found light to moderate wind conditions and Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s JV72 Robertissima III outperformed her opponenets to win out overall. Fastest on the water was Slovenian 100 foot Maxi Esimit Europa 2, which finished the course in 27 hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds to secure the line honours victory.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Robertissima III arrived in Capri three hours and a half after than the Slovenian Maxi, and one hour and 12 minutes ahead of her near sistership Jethou (GBR) after an intense duel on the water.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
“It seemed like we were a little bit faster (than Jethou) in upwind conditions. Maybe we have a little more stability. Esimit was in front and sailed into a hole behind Stromboli, so we went wide.Jethou tried to cut the corner on us and parked also.” said Robertissima III tactician Paul Cayard.

Tricky Breeze

Robertissima III was declared the overall winner of the race on xx, when it became clear her corrected time could not be bettered. At this point, the Maxis changed their mode or set-up for the scheduled three days of coastal racing.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Fate or the wind gods conspired against the best laid plans and both Thursday and Friday were written off due to lack of any breeze. Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio tried his considerable best to come up with a solution. On Thursday Reggio set the fleet off on a coastal course in the waters around Capri, but as the yachts approached the dramatic Faraglioni rock formation the breeze disappeared. On Friday, the fleet left Capri’s Marina Grande in two occasions without success.

Final Day Reprieve

As frustration built for all concerned, the situation for the final day was studied intently. The predictions were good, and hopes were high for a final bout of spirited competition across all classes.
Shirlaf Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
In the Mini Maxi class, Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf from Italy won the coastal race, held over a racecourse of 20 nautical miles, in tricky, shifting wind conditions. Second was British entrant Lupa of London followed by Hungary’s representaive, Wild Joe.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
The combination of the Volcano Race and coastal race results gave the overall win in Mini Maxi Racing division to Robertissima III. 
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
“Capri is a fantastic place. I haven't found such a hospitality like in Capri at any other club in the world. All my crew was really delighted to be here and to be treated to the hospitality of the Yacht Club Capri and Rolex, and of course the result is absolutely positive,” said owner Roberto Tomasini Grinover.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
In the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division, Enrico Gorziglia’s Italian entry Good Job Guys performed best across the too races to secure top spot.

TP52s Debut in Caprese Waters

Away for the Maxi racing, attention was firmly on the debut of the TP52 class with nine teams frrm seven countries competing. Newcomer, Phoenix, won the first race of the championship and her first-ever race.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
In the end, the TP52 fleet sailed six out of the its 10 races scheduled. Five different teams took bullets to confirm the competitiveness of the class: Phoenix, Quantum Racing (USA), Vesper (USA), Azzurra (ITA) and Rán (SWE). Overall victory went to Alberto Roemmer’s team after a final day were they came close to perfection, scoring a second and a first place.
Azzurra Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
“It is a great feeling. Capri is a unique place to sail, and is known for light conditions. We made some changes in the mast, the sails, the trimming, we changed some members of the crew to improve the performance in these conditions, and it allowed us to be competitive. I’m happy, because we made a plan and it worked out. We would be delighted to come back here next year,” said Azzurra helmsman Guillermo Parada.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Second overall was Jim Swartz’s Vesper, followed by Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing. Michelle Galli’s B2 (ITA), winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2013, suffered through lack of experience inshore.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
“We are really an offshore team, but this year we have decided to be here in Capri with the TP52 fleet. This fleet competes at a very high level, and we are still trying to learn how to race with them. A great experience.” Galli explained.

Regatta News

What The Tacticians Said About The Final Day - Barclays 52 Super Series - Capri

Terry Hutchinson (USA) Tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“Over the longer period it’s probably a good thing for us. Since I have been back on the boat we have taken starts off them and they have taken starts off us. And so it’s good to get our teeth kicked in now and then, it makes us come back stronger for the next one, the World Championship. 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"We did not put our best foot forward at this event when Ed started really well but there were things that let us down tactically, conversely we also had one just OK start in the first race today and that was a big deal. Azzurra sailed well, they got a really great break in the last race when they were fighting Rán off and took both of our transoms.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"This is a tricky venue to sail in, when you look at the scorecard and you look at the inconsistencies of everyone, this has been an Atypical regatta for us, on average we have been able to claw your way back through the fleet, we will take a good hard look at everything on our boat and we have to make sure we chase the bitter sweet taste of losing and it’s not that much fun.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"We are looking forward to Porto Cervo and going racing against the entire fleet. It’s awesome to see how many boats we have here. I think what we are building on here for the future is really, really good.”

Gavin Brady (NZL) Tactician Vesper (USA): 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“I was always saying that if they try a dummy gybe we go anyway. It was a match, they had nothing to lose and if we all start doing dummy gybes then the boat behind is only going to get through. It was safe option for us, we were going to commit and go. In the first race of what was to be a three race day we were just playing the percentages and trying to do the right thing. It did not pan out, nine times out of ten it would have been fine but not today. 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"The story of the day was about who could keep putting in the top three scores. We did not ever get stuck here, we did not get bogged down with where we are on points or anything, we just went out and raced. 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"I’d be shocked now if you didn’t see Jim Swartz and Vesper back for another round here, it wont be this year because of other commitments, but we will see Vesper back on the circuit I am sure. It has been a really positive experience for us and our owner Jim Swartz is feeling fantastic about it because we have been able to keep a 2008 boat on the pace, which is full credit to the class too and future of the 52 Super Series.”

Santi Lange (ARG) Tactician Phoenix (BRA): 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“It was a really good experience for us. You always want more but we are a new boat and a new team we are happy with we finished. There is a lot to learn before Sardinia where the conditions will be very different. We need to start better. Here we had three good starts and got three good results, and three bad starts for three bad results. So that is one thing.”

52 Super Series Media

Azzurra Take Victory In Capri - Barclays 52 Super Series

For the first visit to Capri by the Barclays 52 Super Series it was the Italian team Azzurra which came away with top honours, clinching the first regatta title of the 2014 European TP52 season with an impressive second and a first place from the two difficult races on the final day.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Theirs was a hard won overall victory, one which is attributable as much to their hard work and preparation put pre regatta in readiness for the light, unsettled breezes of Capri, as it is to their consistency and guile on the race course.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
While the crew which sails for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda were at their imperious best in today’s light and unsettled breezes, able to hold off the challenge from the American crew of Vesper in both races to roll out winners by four clear points, Jim Swartz’s US crew which had started the final day level with Azzurra had to settle for second overall just ahead of Quantum Racing, the defending 2013 52 Super Series Champions.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Consistency proved elusive for some but Azzurra only finished out of the top three once and delivered a 1,2,1 salvo from the final three races. The team skippered by Guillermo Parada were the only one to win two races, four different boats, Vesper, Quantum Racing, Rán Racing and Phoenix, winning the other contests.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Capri lived up to its longstanding reputation for light airs. The coastal race and one day of windward leeward races were lost to calm or unsettled breezes, but the last day of racing was blessed with 7-10kts of breeze from the SE for the finale.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing won the penultimate race, leading from half way up the first beat. Azzurra rounded the top mark with Vesper second and Azzurra very close behind in third.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
On the second run the two top title rivals were still locked together. Azzurra feigned a dummy gybe, Vesper – whether they bought it or not - gybed away and Azzurra were able to hold on to take second across the line behind Rán Racing.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
In the second race, sailed in a lighter wind with big differences between left and right, Azzurra’s Vasco Vascotto proved most adept at reading the conflicting breezes, picking the best path up the middle of the course to earn the lead around the first turning mark.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
With Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Brazilian Phoenix in close contention, it proved an uphill task for Vesper in third, though keeping their American compatriots Quantum Racing behind them on the overall standings will be a source of satisfaction to Swartz’s team on their first visit to Europe to race.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
The Azzurra team were elated at their victory while Quantum Racing’s visibly disappointed tactician Terry Hutchinson promised that the 2013 champions would harness their disappointment and be back stronger in two weeks time in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the second regatta, the 52 World Championships.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“It is important for us as a team to win because we did not sail well at the last couple of events we did, so we sailed in a good way here. We worked hard to improve our speed here, especially for the light air," said winning tactician Vasco Vascotto.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"Ours is not a boat for light airs and so I think everyone did a great job on and off the water. Guillermo had not steered at the start for many, many regattas and he was good off the start line and I am happy with the way we sailed. This sport never gives you the chance to feel that you are unbeatable. Every day is a different and next time it will be tough again,” he added. 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Final Results: Barclays 52 Super Series - Capri, Italy

1. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,3,7,1,2,1) 17pts
2. Vesper, USA, (Jim Swartz USA) (5,2,1,6,3,4) 21pts
3. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (4,1,6,4,5,3) 23pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,8,2,5,1,6) 24pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (1,7,3,8,9,2) 30pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (9,6,5,3,6,5) 34pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,8,2,8,7) 35pts
8. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (7,5,9,7,4,8) 40pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (8,9,4,9,7,9) 46pts

Barclays 52 Super Series Media

Video - Barclays 52 Super Series - Rolex Capri Sailing Week | Day 4

Friday, May 23, 2014

Head Scratching On The Bay of Naples As Racing Cancelled For A Second Day

Conditions on the Bay of Naples failed to co-operate for a second consecutive day. The Rolex Capri Sailing Week race committee twice called the fleet out on to the water, the 52 Super Series to sail windward-leewards, the Maxi fleet to compete a coastal race. However both times the wind failed to stabilise enough for the race committee even to begin a start sequence.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Principal Race Officer, Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio, exercised his frustration: “There were times when there were zero knots, then the wind would come in at 170° and then 240° - it was just all over the place. It was two breezes fighting, the sea breeze trying to come in from the southeast and another one was trying to come in from the west. Every time a cell came through it just killed it.”
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
On the two occasions when the wind stabilised enough, the fleet ventured out to the start zone only for Mother Nature to let them down. On the second occasion, mid-afternoon, the boats arrived only for the wind to shift hard right and to die once again.
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Expert forecaster Mike Broughton, navigator on Sir Peter Ogden’s Mini Maxi Jethou, explained: “We got an intense trough line which went through this morning at 0500 with lots of wind and rain. Then a second came across bringing thunderstorms and 30 knots in Sardinia, but since then it has got a bit shy and slowly dissipated.”
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
On a positive note, Broughton’s pre-regatta predictions have finally come to pass. “I keep going to do the Volcano Race and warn ‘this is a light area’ and then it’s blown 30 knots!”
Photo: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Steve Hayles, navigator on Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing, competing in the 52 Super Series fleet at Rolex Capri Sailing Week, said that they were expecting the conditions to prevent racing today. “It is the remnants of a cold front from days and days ago that’s drifted into the area. The wind was just massively unstable."

Fortunately the conditions are looking much better for tomorrow, the final day of racing. As Peter Reggio anticipates: “The forecast is the best of the week, so we are pushing racing forwards by an hour. They are saying that at 1100 we should have 8 knots, building to 13. It is the most aggressive forecast we’ve seen all week.”

Mike Broughton believes the wind tomorrow will be a more steady northwesterly, while Steve Hayles says that its strength will still depend upon a thermal breeze developing: “There is no gradient around. If the skies clear up then hopefully a 8-10 knot sea breeze will come in and it will be fine. We had great conditions here during training, it’s just been unfortunate for the last couple of days. So fingers crossed fortomorrow.”

Tonight, Rolex Capri Sailing Week’s magnificent social schedule continues with the ‘Rolex Dinner Party’ at Canzone del Mare (Song of Sea) in the Marina Piccola. Held on the site of a small fort, where the Sirens were once supposed to sit and sing to lure sailors on to the rocks, the property with its lido was initially made famous by English/Italian singer Gracie Fields. Its notoriety gained in the 1950-60s when the beach club was frequented by the jet including Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis, Princess Grace of Monaco, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot among many others as well as being the inspiration for Noël Coward's “A bar on the Piccola Marina.”

However for the crews it will be case of going home early. Because of the lack of racing over the last two days, the start tomorrow is being brought forwards to 1100. The latest time a start can be given is at 1530. The prizegiving will be held at Marina Grande at 1800.

International Maxi Association Media

Frustrating Day At The Office - No Racing For 52s in Capri

There was no further racing today for the Barclays 52 Super Series fleet in Capri due to the lack of a settled, suitable breeze. But on the strength of a promising outlook for Saturday, the scheduled final day, the race officers have moved the start time forward by one hour (to 1100hrs local warning) and will attempt to squeeze in as many windward-leeward contests as possible.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
The fleet of nine boats were held ashore at Capri’s Marina Grande before they were brought out to the race area around 1330hrs. The conflicting winds battled for supremacy and although there were some promising periods, the boats were sent back to the dock. One more attempt was made but ultimately all efforts were thwarted by the fickle, changeable light winds.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
The finale set for Saturday sees Vesper and Azzurra locked on the same points tally, only one point ahead of Quantum Racing. The American team of Jim Swartz are relishing their role as the perceived underdogs, ready to take on the past 52 SUPER SERIES and MedCup champion crews. While both Azzurra and Quantum Racing have a history stretching back more than five seasons, this is Vesper’s first ever event in Europe.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Vesper’s tactician Gavin Brady promises they will give it their best tomorrow, with nothing to lose:
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“On paper we are probably the underdogs to the teams around us. I think we go out tomorrow and swing for the fence. We will enjoy the position as underdogs. It’s our first event in Europe and we have the oldest boat here. We are very, very pleased to be in the position we are in. We will just go out there and have a good crack at it
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“You have to be ready for days like this and just deal with them, and not get frustrated. You have always to be ready to race. The big thing is to keep the crew focused, to not start thinking we wont race or thinking we should be going back to the dock. You have to be in race mode all day. That is quite hard, always thinking ‘if we race now were would you go?’. Tomorrow will be a real test for the teams. On team Vesper we have nothing to lose. The only pressure we have tomorrow will be what we put on ourselves.”
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Barclays 52 Super Series - Capri, Italy

Standings after four races going into final day
1. Vesper, USA, (Jim Swartz USA) (5,2,1,6) 14pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,3,7,1) 14pts
3. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (4,1,6,4) 15pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,8,2,5) 17pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (1,7,3,8) 19pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,8,2) 20pts
7. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (9,6,5,3) 23pts
8. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (7,5,9,7) 28pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (8,9,4,9) 30pts

Barclays 52 Super Series Media